What is CPT Incoterms means? This guide will unravel the meaning, responsibilities, advantages, and disadvantages associated with one such Incoterm – the CPT (Carriage Paid To).

Shipping goods across international borders can be a complex process. One of the crucial elements to understand is the concept of Incoterms, developed by the International Chamber of Commerce to standardize international shipping terms.

What is carriage paid to?

CPT, an abbreviation for Carriage Paid To, is an international shipping term indicating that the seller incurs all costs required to transport the goods to a specified destination. However, once the goods are handed over to the initial carrier (usually at the origin port), the risk of damage or loss transitions to the buyer. The buyer is then responsible for all import-related charges, local delivery, and unloading costs.

Cpt Incoterms Explain
CPT Incoterms explain

CPT Incoterms is applicable in all transport modes and is similar to an FCA (Free Carrier) agreement. However, unlike FCA, the delivery point under CPT is not a fixed location. The two primary locations defined under a CPT agreement are the delivery point and the destination.

The delivery point is where the seller hands over the goods to their appointed carrier. This is the point where the buyer’s risk commences. Despite the risk transfer, the seller is still obliged to cover the cost of shipping the freight to the agreed destination. Upon risk transfer, the buyer is required to make the payment to the seller.

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Seller’s Obligations

CPT Incoterms places certain responsibilities on the seller. These include:

  • Export Packaging: The seller must ensure the goods are packed in export-worthy packaging.
  • Loading Charges: The seller covers any costs incurred while loading the cargo onto a truck at their warehouse.
  • Delivery to Port/Place: The seller bears all costs associated with transporting the goods to the export port or place.
  • Origin Terminal Handling Charges (OTHC): The seller pays these charges at the origin terminal.
  • Loading on Carriage: The seller bears the cost to load the cargo onto the carrier.
  • Freight Charges: Shipping charges are paid by the seller.
  • Destination Terminal Handling Charges (DTHC): The seller also covers these charges at the destination terminal.

Duties of the Buyer

Under CPT, the buyer has the following responsibilities:

  • Insurance: The buyer is responsible for obtaining a freight insurance policy if desired.
  • Delivery to Destination: Once the cargo is unloaded from the carrier, the buyer is liable for delivery costs to their final destination.
  • Unloading at Destination: The buyer covers any unloading fees at warehouses upon cargo arrival.
  • Import Duty, Taxes & Customs Clearance: The buyer is responsible for all import-related charges, including customs examinations, penalties, or holding charges.

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Benefits of CPT for the Buyer

Shipping under CPT can offer several advantages to the buyer, especially when the payment terms specify that the goods must be paid for at the destination. This setup significantly lowers the risk for the buyer as they are not required to pay for the goods until they arrive at the agreed location.

The seller is also responsible for providing the Bill of Lading or Airway Bill, which reduces the buyer’s role in a large part of the logistics process. Another benefit is that the buyer is exempt from handling any export-related requirements or fees. This can be particularly advantageous when shipping from countries where the buyer is uncertain of local export regulations.

Buyer’s Risks in CPT

Despite the benefits, there are several risks associated with CPT for the buyer.

  1. Payment before cargo location confirmation: Under CPT, the buyer has to pay for the goods when they are with the seller’s carrier, often without knowing the exact shipment status.
  2. Unawareness of the Carrier: Unless specified in the contract, the buyer may not know who the carrier is. This can pose issues as the buyer has to rely on the seller-appointed carrier for shipment and import assistance.
  3. Transit Clearance: It is the buyer’s responsibility to organize transit clearance when the cargo passes through a country. This can be complex without an existing relationship with the carrier.
  4. Changing Carriers: With multiple carriers involved, especially in air freight, CPT becomes more complicated as it increases the buyer’s separation.

Ideal Situations for CPT

Despite the risks, CPT can be effective for overland transportation from one place to another. For instance, in cross-border trade, where the seller organizes the transport of goods across multiple countries, CPT works well.

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CPT for China Imports: A Good Idea?

CPT is not recommended for imports from China to Australia, Europe, and North America. FOB (Free on Board) is typically the preferred Incoterm for shipments originating from China. However, for buyers trucking their cargo to a neighboring country, CPT could be an option.

Tips: How to Import from China to Australia Comprehensive Guide

FAQ about CPT Incoterms

Does CPT incoterm include insurance?

No, the buyer is required to arrange for freight insurance.

What is the difference between CIF and CPT?

CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) is used only for sea and inland waterway shipments and requires the seller to deliver the insured goods to the destination port. In contrast, CPT does not require insurance and allows delivery to any agreed point.

What is the difference between DDP and CPT?

Under a DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) agreement, the seller delivers the goods to the agreed destination, usually the buyer’s warehouse, where the risk and ownership transfer. CPT transfers the risk earlier when the goods are delivered to the carrier. DDP includes duty and import fees, whereas CPT does not.

In conclusion, CPT incoterm is a complex shipping term with specific responsibilities for both the buyer and the seller. Understanding these responsibilities, advantages, and potential risks can help make informed decisions during international trade transactions.

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